Vintage Port is one of the world's rarest wines, made on average only once every three or four years. Only about four dozen producers make this long-lived fortified wine in a given year, adding to its rarity.
Last week, I traveled to Oporto, Portugal, and tasted more than 50 barrel samples of Vintage Ports from 2007, the newest declared vintage, going on sale soon as futures. All the wines were tasted blind. These are some of the most structured yet refined young sweet wines I've tasted since I started reviewing young Ports with the 1980 vintage. 2007 is a classic vintage, ranking among some of the best modern years, such as 2003, 1994 and 1977. Members of WineSpectator.com can read my full analysis and tasting notes.
Tasting such young Vintage Ports is a daunting experience because they are so powerful. In this video, I explain what I look for when evaluating young Ports:
Traditionally, Vintage Port is purchased young, even before it is bottled, and then aged in the cellars of it's owner. A great Vintage Port can easily improve with age for more than a century, although most wine lovers enjoy drinking the sweet wine with eight to 15 years of bottle age. The bottles must be stood upright and decanted before serving because the wines are not filtered and are full of sediment.
May 4: Great Vintage Port Means Great Vineyards
James Suckling visits and provides a video of some of the Douro Valley's best Port vineyards.
May 1: 2007 Vintage Port Magic
James Suckling begins his blind tastings at the Factory House, with a video of the tasting room.
April 29: 2007 Vintage Port and Us
James Suckling visits Portugal's famed Factory House, home of the British Port Wine Shippers Club.